Planned Parenthood has been a controversial organization to many Americans since its beginnings in 1916. Just this week a bill was debated in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood, which failed 53-46 (required 60 votes to pass).  With political rhetoric and misinformation heard from many speaking on the subject, the kinds of services provided by Planned Parenthood may be unknown or misunderstood by those who could potentially benefit from them.

Planned Parenthood began their work when information about family planning and contraception were considered “obscene.”  The founders of the first birth control clinic were arrested and convicted for disseminating contraception information. In the 1960s family planning became a central element of the War on Poverty. Today family planning services include everything from couples counseling to reproductive health screenings, pregnancy tests and prenatal services to contraception or pregnancy termination. Some Planned Parenthood clinic locations are able to provide a full range of family practice services. Planned Parenthood’s mission has always been to provide services for those in need

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This past Mother’s Day launched the 16th annual National Women’s Health Week.  Led by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and raise awareness of the steps one can take to improve their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends many common measures, such as proper health screenings, staying physically active, eating healthy, and promoting other healthy behaviors such as getting enough sleep, washing your hands, or wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet when appropriate.  There are also many resources for women in need.

In a previous blog post, we detailed the National Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Information for the local offerings from the program can be found in the NeedyMeds State Sponsored Programs section.  There are other government programs for women’s health to be found on our site, including WISEWOMAN, a program that provides low-income, uninsured/under-insured women with blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings.

NeedyMeds has a database

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Breast Cancer is a very serious condition that affects many women in America. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.” It is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with over 220,000 women diagnosed annually in thde Unite States with an estimated 40,000 annual deaths. Breast Cancer also affects men, although it is more rare — “an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.”  Breast Cancer affects each patient differently — “Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast — the ducts, the lobules, or in some cases, the tissue in between.” There are also numerous types of Breast Cancer – non-invasive, invasive, recurrent, and metastatic. Luckily there are many programs available nationwide to help Breast Cancer patients pay for the costs of medicine, procedures, and more.

What Help is Available?

The first place to check for financial assistance with Breast Cancer costs would be our

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About 1 in 8 U.S. Women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, with an estimated 232,340 new cases this year according to breastcancer.org. Cervical Cancer was responsible for 4,030 deaths in the United States in 2013. The National Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) is a national program available in every state that provides free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings via the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are some restrictions, based on age and income. The program originated when Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention act of 1990, which directed the CDC to create the NBCCEDP.

Qualifying – Who it Serves

The program does have specific eligibility requirements that are the same in each state. Financially patients must be at or below 250% of the federal poverty level and be uninsured or underinsured. For breast

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